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Opinion & Essays - Jun, 1997 Issue


From: MaryjaneF@aol.com
RE: Transition Schools, essay
Date: April 7, 1997 

Good essay with many very important points, especially the tendency to lump “these kinds of kids” into one category. 

Relatively new to placing students, post “emotional growth”, I found that completion of a program is very important. Schools tended to be impressed if a child had completed a long term placement. I think this is an important point to be made to schools by parents and consultants. 

Mary Jane Freeman 

“There just aren’t any words in the language to express how grateful I am.... I feel in my heart he’s finally at a place that he can really be helped and make some lasting changes in his life. It just doesn’t make any sense for someone like A. J. to have an office visit once every three months with his psychologist, and have it make a lasting difference. I think it’s sad that myself and many others didn’t know these programs exist. I would have made changes over a year ago. I’ll never understand why the counselors, doctors and behavioral medicine institutions won’t get help from your company. If I can help anyone like myself I’ll be sure to give them your phone number. You people are the only ones I’ve ever spoken to who even began to understand what I was going through, and not blame me. Just reading the introduction in the directory helped me more than years of therapy and counseling. I feel things can only go up now. Thank you for all you’ve done and all your patience with me. 

Sincerely, K. E., A Parent in Missouri 

RE: Transition Schools, Issue #45, April 1997


Thank you for addressing a growing confusion in the field of “private school special education”, regarding terminology used to describe schools and programs. This broad umbrella of services developed to serve adolescents and their families has created a new view of education. Schools and programs have been developed over the last 18 years by educators who want to make a positive impact in the lives of young people. This work has also attracted “big business interest”, since these schools and programs can become highly profitable. 

Many schools have added clinical staff in order to become eligible for additional sources of revenue, such as insurance companies and state contracts. Other schools have been founded by clinically trained psychotherapists, or have added clinical personnel in an effort to incorporate clinical treatment in the school model. This is a new presentation of an old model we have known as “treatment center”. 

If clinical staff is needed for diagnostic or individual therapy, and the program is treatment oriented, then let us call it what it is, a treatment center. If the focus is emotional growth, communication skills, peer counseling, and academic education, clinical treatment and supervision will not be needed as part of the general curriculum. 

Treatment centers that are client centered and ethically administrated are desperately needed. Schools that integrate emotional growth, values clarification, work ethic, and a good mentoring system are needed more than ever in our dollar driven culture. 

We have arrived at an important juncture in private school special education. It is my sincere hope that we will move forward in our effort to address the needs of students.

“The pursuit of happiness becomes the pursuit of answers to the wrong questions. We little realize to what feverish extent all psychologies promote anxiety—in parents, in children, in therapists, in researchers, and in the field itself as it extends its searchings into evermore “problem areas.” Everything seems to call for studies, research, analyzing; aging, business management, sports, sleep, and the methods of research itself. Restless inquiry is not the only kind of knowing, self- examination is not the only kind of awareness. Appreciation of an image, your life story studded with images since early childhood, and a deepening into them slows the restlessness of inquiry, laying to rest the fever and the fret of finding out. By its very definition given by Thomas Aquainas in his Summa theologia, beauty arrests motion. Beauty is itself a cure for psychological malaise.”

 - James Hillman, THE SOUL’S CODE In Search Of Character And Calling

Copyright © 1997, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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